Why a Framework?

A framework is, in many ways, simply a metaphor. It focuses our attention on important elements of a setting, activity or idea. In this case, the focus is on supporting learning through making. Building a framework serves several goals:


The framework provides design considerations for practitioners who seek to develop a new maker program or makerspace. Each of the framework’s three broad categories provides guideposts that can steer the intentional design of the program or space.

Reflection & Professional Development

The framework’s three categories serve as reflective points for practitioners currently engaged in this work. In this way, the elements of the framework serve as points to elicit formative feedback, and to create points for conversation amongst stakeholders.


The framework can offer a structure for considering the evaluation of maker programs and makerspaces. The framework’s three categories may steer the development of summative measures to evaluate a program or space’s impact.

Make Every Makerspace Better

Ultimately, this framework can help guide museum and library professionals who are new to makerspaces or who are just beginning to develop a space. It can help seasoned veterans evaluate their current maker work, too.

The elements of the framework are intended to guide practitioners’ planning and implementation of maker-based learning experiences. The framework is not intended to prescribe how to develop and implement those learning experiences. From visiting makerspaces and exploring maker programs across the country, we know that there are many different ways to offer productive maker-based learning experiences. Instead of prescribing a fixed methodology, the goal of the framework is to encourage critical discussions and encourage practitioners to consider critical aspects of design for their individual maker experiences.

In the spirit of making, this framework is meant to be flexible and adaptable. It is designed to support the local concerns, priorities and conditions of any museum or library.

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